Dear Colleague, The final verdict on health care reform is still out but the most recent version of the controversial bill (America's Affordable Health Choices Act, H.R. 3200) holds promising changes that will affect the care that pregnant women receive in the United States. Childbirth Connection, a not-for-profit maternal health care advocacy group, recently released their endorsement for this bill and identified several improvements of care, including:
Medicaid will pay for home visits by nurses both before and after birth
Insurance companies may no longer consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition
Insurance coverage parity for care by nurse-midwives
Addressing health disparities by offering incentives to providers who care for perinatal women in underserved populations
Poorly delivered or inaccessible maternal health care can contribute to negative outcomes such as poor diet and self-care while pregnant; preterm births; and heightened parental stress, all of which can affect the physical and mental health of both mother and baby. According to the Centers for Disease Control, our infant mortality rates rank 29th (nearly 7 deaths per 1000 births), and the percentage of our preterm birth rates rose by 9% between 2000 and 2005. And it's not that we don’t spend enough: The World Health Organization says that US health expenditures per capita are the highest in the world. Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit group that has educated about and advocated for high-quality maternity care since 1918. MedEdPPD supports their endorsement of this legislation. Please visit their site to learn more.